Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"The Most Valuable Thing In The World" - A Sneak Peek At My Upcoming Book


In March, I mentioned that I had never written a book, and set a public goal of finishing one by the end of the month and then giving it away here at The Humble Libertarian for free.

I missed my deadline.

However, I'm glad I had a deadline to miss. Setting one motivated me to get started, and now that I've started, I'm going to finish. And I'm very happy so far with how it's turning out!

Now I'm going to reveal the name and topic of the book. No, it's not going to be a book about politics. It's going to be a book about blogging, how to blog successfully, and how to use your blog to capture the imagination of your community and open doors to career and income opportunities.

The title of the book is: "Because I Blog."

The idea is, many people try to make money from their blog, but in my experience, that's not the easiest or most ideal way a blog can help you transition from amateur writer to professional writer / activist / (etc.). Instead, I've found that my blog opened up doors for me to network in my chosen community-- libertarian activism and political news journalism-- and find paying career opportunities. I didn't ever make a whole lot of money from my blog. But I did make a reasonable living for a single twenty-something, because I blogged, and because I blogged well.

Here's a short sample from the upcoming book. Sorry to be behind deadline, but I hope to have it out soon!

The most valuable thing in the world

How much is the attention of your audience worth? If you’re blogging about a political topic like I was, pay per click ads value each pair of eyeballs at a few cents. Bloggers work hard to get people to visit their blogs. It’s incredibly gratifying to know you are reaching someone, that they are listening, that they are interested in what you have to say. I wasn’t thinking very critically at all when I thought it was a good deal to sell off a person’s attention for a few cents.

The truth is, attention is a very scarce resource, and in a 21st century world saturated to the brim with a million things competing savagely for our attention, it is a resource more scarce than ever before. Attention is also intrinsically very valuable. Attention to a product is what marketing companies make millions of dollars getting for their clients. Attention to an issue is what drives social change and progress. Attention to a scandal is what brings down powerful politicians. Attention to an idea is what changes how and what people think.

Attention is what Google is paying you a few cents for when it places an ad on your blog, but remember, the advertiser is paying Google more than you’re getting paid, and the advertiser is only doing it because they are making even more money than that from the attention of your audience. When you try to monetize your blog and make money from it by selling the attention of the audience you have worked so hard to build-- for just a few cents a click-- you’re at the bottom of the food chain.

Because it is so scarce in the world of today, and because of its potential to snowball into more attention through the lightning fast power of word of mouth in the era of social media, I believe that attention is worth even more than the people at the top of the food chain are paying for it-- by orders of magnitude. Because it means something and has the power to change individual people and add something new and wonderful to their lives, I believe a person’s attention is so important that it defies quantification. It is priceless.

It is the most valuable thing in the world.